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Isolation, nucleotide sequencing and genomic comparison of a Novel SXT/R391 ICE mobile genetic element isolated from a municipal wastewater environment

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posted on 2023-02-09, 10:55 authored by Shannon Slattery, TONY PEMBROKETONY PEMBROKE, JOHN MURNANEJOHN MURNANE, Michael P. Ryan
Integrative Conjugative Elements (ICE’s) of the SXT/R391 family have largely been detected in clinical or environmental isolates of Gammaproteobacteria, particularly Vibrio and Proteus species. As wastewater treatment plants accumulate a large and diverse number of such species, we examined raw water samples taken from a municipal wastewater treatment plant initially using SXT/R391 family integrase gene-specific PCR probes to detect the presence of such elements in a directed approach. A positive amplification occurred over a full year period and a subsequent Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) analysis revealed a very limited diversity in the treatment plant examined. Samples demonstrating positive amplification were cultured using Vibrio and Proteus selective media and PCR amplification tracking was utilized to monitor SXT/R391-ICE family containing strains. This screening procedure resulted in the isolation and identification of a Proteus mirabilis strain harbouring an ICE. Whole-genome sequencing of this ICE containing strain using Illumina sequencing technology revealed a novel 81 kb element that contained 75 open reading frames on annotation but contained no antibiotic or metal resistance determinants. Comparative genomics revealed the element contained a conserved ICE core with one of the insertions containing a novel bacteriophage defence mechanism. This directed isolation suggests that ICE elements are present in the environment without apparent selective pressure but may contain adaptive functions allowing survival in particular environments such as municipal wastewater which are reservoirs for large bacterial phage populations.


Mathematical Sciences: Stochastic Models in Population Genetics

Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences

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Scientific Reports;10, 8716





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